Saturday, September 09, 2006

The path to boredom:

I've been studiously avoiding the whole controversy about the ABC's mocumentary "The Path to 9/11" because there's already been too much said about it already. I'm of the mind that if the lefty bloggers and former Clinton administration officials hadn't freaked out, probably no one would have bothered watching it anyway. Now everyone is going to have to check out who gets more blame for 9/11. From the reviews I've read by people who've actually seen it, it seems like it's a real sleeperama; more than likely only the most hardcore politicos will be able to sit through all four and a half hours.

For myself, I wasn't going to watch it anyway because it's on at the same time on Sunday as the Giants/Colts game. (That Peyton Manning is a real punk, I'm hoping those New York football Giants will wipe that smirk off his face, but I'm not holding my breath.) Besides that, I'm probably not alone in thinking I don't want to spend four and half hours of being reminded about the 9/11 attacks. I could barely handle the black- screen scene in "Fahrenheit 9/11," which only played the sounds of the attacks on the WTC.

For me, the memories are still too raw. I was working a block away from the FBI building in DC on 9/11 and every time I see anything to do with that day I get this indescribable sick feeling in my gut. It took me weeks to begin to not break out in a sweat every time I got on the Metro to go to work. It didn't help either that right after 9/11 we had the anthrax scare in DC and a while later the sniper killings in Maryland and Virginia. It was bad enough that I was terrified to take the Metro, but then I didn't even want to stand outside the car long enough to pump gas. Every time I saw a jet flying overhead or a white truck, I had to stop myself from panicking.

So when I say how continually disgusted and appalled I am about how W. & Co. have exploited 9/11 and those who died on that day to further their political agenda, you can understand why. There's a special place in hell for those who built a case for invading Iraq on the rubble of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Now, comparing that to some stupid TV show is just silly. Let's keep our eyes on the ball here. As we speak W. is planning to give another one of his terror speeches on Monday, right after the conclusion of the last part of "the Path to 9/11." (Could he and Karl Rove be any more shameless?) No doubt, the speech will be heavy on the "war on terror" and mention Iraq very briefly if at all. That's kind of funny, incidentally, because they've been saying all along that Iraq was the "central front" in the war on terror, yet somehow its been conspicuously absent from W.'s new series of terror speeches. I wonder why?

But I guess Iraq is "old news," too, just like the new Senate Intelligence Committee report that says there was never any evidence that Saddam was in cahoots with al-Qaeda. [WaPo] We're on to bigger and better things; like trying the al-Qaeda detainees in W.'s kangaroo courts. And, more importantly, getting that legislation passed that retroactively immunizes those CIA interrogators that might have gotten a little too rough with their captives --and killed them. I can't wait for the final weeks of W.'s presidency when he starts pre-emptively pardoning all his partners in crime. Can a president pardon himself?

Note: You know, come to think of it, I read that Penny Johnson Jerald is playing Condi, so I might have to tune in for just that part. What perfect casting! To refresh everyone's memory; she's the actor who played President Palmer's conniving wife in 24. After playing Mrs. Palmer, Jerald should have no problem fitting right in to the Condi role.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The NYT reports:

"The Senate Intelligence Committee said today that there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein had prewar ties to Al-Qaeda and one of the terror organization’s most notorious members, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi." It took about two years for the Senate to get around to figuring this out, but better late than never, guess.

I found this little tidbit buried in another NYT article today which saysthat Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the man that W. quoted to prove tha tSaddam was doign business with Saddam, after being tortured to wthin an inch of his life in an Egyptian prison, is missing.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another speech, more lies.

Boy, these new series of speeches by W. are getting weirder and weirder. Today, he admited that the administration has been holding al-Qaeda suspects in CIA 'black prisons,' something he's been denying all along. [AP] By the way, isn't the Justice Department investigating the WaPo for leaking that story?

Anyway, W. went on at some length about all the plots that have been thwarted because of the CIA's "alternative set of procedures" which they use to make these guys canary, citing what I guess was previously classified information. No word on who OK'd the de-classification of these national secrets, but it there's never any quams in this administration about leaking secrets when there's an election coming up or an administration enemy to skewer.

After dropping the bombshell that we've been holding suspects in secret prisons, he said he wanted the 9/11 families to know that these terrorists were finally getting moved to Gitmo and would be tried as soon as Congress rubber stamped his military tribunals. Of course, the problem with that is that Congress is unlikely to pass the bill W. wants. Such a law would have to sanction allowing secret evidence, excluding the defendant from his own trial and the entering in of testimony extracted by torture. (There's that word again, I mean that CIA "alternative set of procedures.") Senator Lindsay Graham for one has said that's not going to fly.

I like how W. put in the little plug for himself saying that he signed the "Detainee Treatment Act," but forgot to mention that he basically imascalated the entire law with his signing statement. Another thing W. wants is for the Congress to pass a law that gives imunity to those who have used harsh techniques to get information. You see, he's very worried about all those American military and CIA personel who by just doing their duty might be brought up on war crimes charges. Not that he's got anyone higher up in his administration in mind. Not like Alberto "waterboard" Gonzales or David Addington or anyone else who authorized interogation techniques that clearly violate US and international law. Oh no, no, it's all about looking after the little guy just doing his job.

[Note: Alberto "waterboard" Gonzales made a "surprise visit" to Iraq last week and gave the Iraqis the green light for "extraordinary measures" to fight their war on terror. Remember, if anyone would know about what we've been up to and what the Iraqis could learn from us, it's Gonzales. The LA Times reported that he had " acknowledged taking part in a meeting in which participants discussed the legality of interrogation techniques, including the threat of live burial and simulating the sensation of drowning."]

What really mystified me about the whole thing was when W. said that these 14 senior al-Qaeda types who are now at Gitmo would be treated as if they were innocent until proven guilty. Didn't he just spend the first half of his speech highlighting in much detail all the crimes that they commited? He didn't say they were "alleged" to have done these things, like plan 9/11; he said they did it. Not that he really meant they'd get a fair trial anyway, that's just for the suckers.

I hope the families of the 9/11 victims along with finally getting justice from these suspects also appreciate that its taken this administration five years to get around to doing anything at all about these guys. Sure they've used 9/11 to justify every breech of the law they've commited and started a war in the name of 9/11 but they haven't actually punished those responsible or even captured the one man really behind the attacks. You know, OBL.

An extra note:

One of the 14 "worst of the worst" being transfered to Gitmo is Abu Zabaydah, who W. once called "one of the top opratives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."

Ron Susskind his new book "the One Percent Doctrine" writes that Zubaydagh was mentally ill yet he was tortured none the less.

From Think Progress:

"Bush 'was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes. He asked one briefer, 'do some of these harsh methods really work? Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep.

Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, 'thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each. . . target.” And so, Suskind writes, 'the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.'"

Charles A Lindbergh and the Des Moines speech: September 11th, 1940

Continuing with the WWII theme that W. & Co. keep pushing, I thought it might be interesting to check out what a leading light of the America isolationists movement had to say about staying out of the war with Hitler.

Charles A. Lindbergh gave this speech on September 11th 1940 in Des Moines Iowa at an America First meeting. That same night FDR gave his famous 'shoot on sight' speech telling Hitler that his U-Boats wouldn't get away with sinking our destoyer escourts anymore.

Oddly, before Lindberg spoke the audience listened to FDR's radio broadcast. According to Lindbergh he thought the whole thing went off quite well, but judging from the negative reaction to the speech afterwards many didn't share this view. Later in life he regretted the speech, but obviously there are still people out there like Pat Buchanan who agreee with what he said.

From: the Borrowed Years: 1938-1941: America on the way to war by Richard M. Ketchum.

The America First Committee scored a victory in getting the American aviation hero Charles Lindberg to speak at their meeting in Des Moines, Iowa on September 11th, 1941. Lindberg began by saying he would speak "with utmost frankness" about who was responsible for trying to force the United States into the war in Europe. Three important groups were, "the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration." Beyond these groups were less significant lobbies such as; capitalists, Anglophies, intellectuals, and the communists. "It is not difficult to understand why Jewsih people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race. No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution of the Jewish race in Germany. But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy, bioth for us and for them.

Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way, for they will be among the first to feel its consequences. Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devestation. A few freightened Jewish people realize this, and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not. Their greatest danger in this country lies in their large ownership of and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government.

I am not attacking either the Jewish people or the British people. Both races I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of both the British and Jewish races, for reasons which are understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reason which are not American, wich to involve us in this war. We cannot blame them for looking out for their own interests, but we muct look out for ours. We cannot allow natural passions and predjudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction."

Note: Roosevelt famously once told Treasury secretary Henry Morgenthau: "If I should die tomorrow I want you to know this. I am absolutly convinced that Lindberg is a Nazi."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Making the world safe from security.

AP reports:

"A dozen leading congressional Democrats have urged President Bush in a letter to consider changing the civilian leadership at the Pentagon, saying that such a move would show he recognizes the problems his policies 'have created in Iraq and elsewhere.'"

Oh gosh, they sent him a letter!I'm sure Rummy's days are numbered. What, they aren't?

Tony Snow says, "It's not going to happen. Creating Don Rumsfeld as a bogeyman may make for good politics but would make for very lousy strategy at this time." [AP]

Well actually, keeping him in the job will just continue the lousy strategies, but yes it does make good politics. If you think about it, everybody except W. thinks Rummy is a dummy. The military brass hates him, Democrats hate him, Republicans hate him; so I say, 'stay the course,' don't let those Stalin lovers tell you what to do W.

W. doin' more speechifying:

W. was busy again today with his new push to remind us that we're at war. The announcment that another 7 US troops have died so far this week in Iraq hasn't reminded me at all. W. says, "Bin laden and his terrorist's allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say?" Maybe if he had listened to what OBL was saying before 9/11 we wouldn't be in the position we're in today.

In just over a week 400 Iraqi civilians have died in Iraq, despite the much touted security crackdown launched by US and Iraqi forces about 5 weeks ago; In Afghanistan opium prodcution is up 50% over last year and the NYT points out today that it "has claimed the lives of 106 American and NATO soldiers this year and doubled American casualty rates countrywide. Across Afghanistan, roadside bomb attacks are up by 30 percent; suicide bombings have doubled. Statistically it is now nearly as dangerous to serve as an American soldier in Afghanistan as it is in Iraq."

And then there are the ramdom terrorist attacks all over world from the Mumbay train bombings, to the plot to blow up planes flying from the UK to the US, the recent bombings in Turkey, and just today the shooting of British tourists in Amman.

Looks like the world is a whole lot safer with Rummy and W. in charge.
hit counter script Top Blog Lists Favourite Blogs Top List
My Zimbio
Top Stories